Vietnam's swiftly aging population prompts strategic government initiatives

May 03, 2024 | 11:00
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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) disclosed on May 2 that developing nations in the Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam, are inadequately prepared to secure the welfare of their swiftly ageing populations.
Vietnam's swiftly aging population prompts strategic government initiatives

Albert Park, chief economist at the ADB, pointed out that demographic changes in developing Asia-Pacific nations are placing increasing pressures on their governments.

Aiko Kikkawa, principal author of ADB's report, shared, "Vietnam’s ageing population is expanding rapidly compared to other countries. The government is actively implementing various long-term strategies to address this challenge effectively."

According to the ADB's projections, by 2037, about 20 per cent of Vietnam's population will be over 60 years old. Presently, around 8 per cent of Vietnamese men between 60 and 64, and 24 per cent of those over 65, are capable of working but remain outside the labour force.

Kikkawa explained that leveraging this capable, older demographic could boost Vietnam’s GDP by approximately 1.1 per cent, which is higher than the regional average of 0.9 per cent.

She described the economic contributions from the elderly as the "silver dividend", which, with the right strategies, Vietnam and other countries could significantly benefit from.

"Population ageing shouldn’t be seen as a governmental burden. Early investment is key to harvesting the 'silver dividend'", remarked Park.

To prevent Vietnam from 'ageing before becoming wealthy', Kikkawa suggested that implementing cost-effective measures is crucial, especially since most of the Vietnamese population lives in rural areas where the elderly are more prone to isolation.

She emphasised the critical role of preventive healthcare, noting that early detection of health issues in the elderly could significantly reduce long-term medical costs.

"Given Vietnam's relatively young demographic, it’s vital to expand preventive healthcare for the elderly and the youth, who are contributing significantly to the budget now but will form the elderly demographic of the future," Kikkawa added, highlighting that this approach would reduce healthcare burdens and optimise current fiscal contributions.

FDI disbursement in January-April period reaches five-year record FDI disbursement in January-April period reaches five-year record

The total foreign direct investment (FDI) disbursed in Vietnam in the first four months of this year is estimated to reach 6.28 billion USD, up 7.4 per cent year on year, the highest four-month amount in the past five years, reported the General Statistics Office (GSO).

By Tri Lam

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